Thursday, October 22, 2009

J Street - A Particularly Nasty Dead End To Be Avoided

In the past few months, a brand new organization has come to light called J Street that bills itself as 'pro-Israel, pro Peace.'

Later on this month, they're holding their first national conference and the event has attracted some controversy. Who is J Street? And are they really pro-Israel and pro-peace?

J Street bills itself as 'an alternative to AIPAC' founded to 'support a new direction for American policy in the Middle East and a broad public and policy debate about the U.S. role in the region.' It claims to support 'two states living side-by-side in peace and security'( meaning Israel and a second Arab Palestinian state) and to support 'diplomatic solutions over military ones, including in Iran; multilateral over unilateral approaches to conflict resolution; and dialogue over confrontation with a wide range of countries and actors when conflicts do arise.'

When you get beyond the kumbaya language and actually click on the links to their policy positions,you find the real truth.Not only is J Street ant-Israel, but borderline anti-Semitic.Considering that George Soros is a major funder and they have a number of Arab, pro-Arab and Iranian donors, that's to be expected.

In essence, J Street supports the Saudi 'peace' ultimatum, including the creation of thousands of Jewish refugees by uprooting them from their homes in Judea and Samaria(AKA the West Bank), the redividing of Jerusalem and the admission of Arab 'refugees' into Israel. There's not a single word or mention I could find concerning any compensation or recognition for the almost 1 million Jewish refugees of the 1948 conflict.

J Street is fully on board with the Obama Administration's extreme positions, including the racist attitude of telling Jews where they may live and build simply because they're Jews. That's known as a 'complete settlement freeze' in their lingo.

In fact, while J Street supports Arab apartheid in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, there's not a single word about Israel as a Jewish State, merely as a 'democratic home.'

They also demand what they term 'a new peace treaty' between Israel and Syria, without mentioning that Syria's dictator Bashir Assad has stated repeatedly that Israel would need to give up the strategic Golan Heights to Syria and Hezbollah before any negotiations even commence.

And on Iran, J Street applauds the Obama Administration's diplomatic engagement with the Mullahs and opposes harsh sanctions, let alone any military response to Iran's growing nuclear capacity.

In fact, that's what J Street is ultimately about. It was created simply as a fig leaf for the Obama Administration's questionable positions on Israel. As they put it, "Providing President Obama with support as he pursues the two-state solution will be J Street’s number one priority in 2009 and 2010."

That message becomes even more clear when you look at who's on the advisory board and who supports the organization.

Let's start with J Street’s director, Jeremy Ben-Ami.

Lenny Ben-David at Pajamas media has a few interesting questions for him:
You served as Fenton Communications’ senior vice president until you established J Street, launched in 2008. In early 2009, Fenton signed contracts with a Qatari foundation to lead an 18-month long anti-Israel campaign in the United States with a special focus on campuses. The actual text of the contract called for: “An international public opinion awareness campaign that advocates for the accountability of those who participated in attacks against schools in Gaza.”

Did you sever your ties with Fenton when you began J Street? Do you retain any role or holdings in Fenton today? Did you play any role in introducing Fenton to the Qatari agents or play any role in facilitating the contract? Were you aware of the negotiations or the contract signed on March 12, 2009?

These questions are relevant because it’s important to know if J Street’s refusal to support Israel’s anti-Hamas military campaign was influenced by your ties with Fenton, whose promotional material claims: “We only represent people and projects we believe in.”

Were there discussions with Fenton prior to J Street’s refusal to condemn the Goldstone Report on Gaza, a report that certainly serves the Fenton/Qatari interests? Were there communications with Fenton surrounding J Street’s support for Rep. Donna Edwards who refused to sign a congressional resolution supporting Israeli actions in Gaza?

And about anti-Israel financing:

You were recently asked in an interview about funds J Street received from Palestinians, Arab-Americans, and Iranian-Americans, to which you answered: “J Street does have some Arab and Muslim donors — about five. These are individuals, not organizations, corporations or foreign countries. Well over 90 percent of our money comes from Jewish Americans and Christians.”

Did you really say J Street has only five Arab and Muslim donors? A partial listing quickly extracted from the U.S. Federal Election Commission shows more than 30 contributors, many with ties to Arab-American organizations.

So far, only J Street’s Political Action Committee has disclosed its contributors, as mandated by federal law. But who are the donors to the main J Street organization? Make that list public, and these pesky inquiries will probably go away.

When asked about J Street’s funding by the Jerusalem Post — the newspaper that ran the original exposé — you responded “at most 3 percent” of contributors were Muslim or Arab. Now you state that the figure may be closer to 10 percent. One tenth of J Street’s budget of $3 million, or $300,000, is a substantial sum. Why do so many Arabs contribute to an organization that purports to be “pro-Israel?”

And it's not just Arabs. For instance, one member of the organization's finance committee, Genevieve Lynch, was a participant of the National Iranian American Council. Judith Barnett, a former registered agent for Saudi Arabia, is a donor and is prominent on the J Street Advisory Council. while Nancy Dutton, who until 2008 represented the Saudis as an attorney against her fellow Americans donates to J Street's political action committee which has been financing anti-Israeli congressional candidates.

The advisory council itself is littered with Rabbis for Obama, prominent Leftists like Eli Pariser, the Board President of, ex-Senator Lincoln Chafee, Markos Kounalakis who publishes The Washington Monthly and Stanley Sheinbaum, and anti-Israel former diplomats like Rob Malley and Nicholas Veliotes.

A look at the upcoming conference is also revealing. The scheduled keynote speakers include Obama's staunchly anti-Israel NSA General James Jones, and two US senators not exactly noted for their pro-Israel bonifides ( John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, who's rumored to be Obama's next SecDef).

Also speaking will be Rabbi Eric Yoffie, head of the US Reform movement, who once described J Street's positions as "deeply distressing, morally deficient and profoundly out of touch with Jewish sentiment and appallingly naïve." Apparently his pro-Obama comrades convinced him to take one for the Cause.

And J-Street's scheduled featured bloggers panel? Soccer Dad ferreted this one out:

This panel will be attended by the likes of Helena Cobban, Richard Silverstein, Phil Weiss, and Max Blumenthal, among others. Silverstein claims that J-Street is only providing them a platform but not endorsing their views. Really, a platform is more than enough. These people are by no means pro-Israel - they are unapologetically anti-Israel - the false label that J-Street insists on attaching to itself.

In fact Helena Cobban has just been named the executive director of the Council for the National Interest (CNI). CNI is one of those organizations run by former Middle East diplomats (in this case Eugene Bird) with strong ties to Saudi Arabia. So while they agitate against the so-called "Israel Lobby" they are part of what Steven Emerson once referred to the American House of Saud. Cobban believes that Hamas is a legitimate organization - she goes beyond saying Israel must negotiate with Hamas - and therefore can accurately be called a terror supporter.

Sponsors include the remnants of the EU funded Israeli far Left - people like the Meretz party, Ameinu, and Brit Tzedek among others, taking time off from their efforts to impede Jews building homes and the IDF's efforts to protect Israelis.

The American sponsors include the usual suspects, including Peace Now, The Israel Policy Forum, The Foundation For Middle East Peace and the New Israel Fund.

The bottom line was best summed up by Stephen Walt, co-author of the The Israel Lobby, who recently said in Mother Jones magazine, “This is a key moment in the debate. It will be important whether Obama gets enough cover from J Street and the Israel Policy Forum so Obama can say, ‘AIPAC is not representative of the American Jewish community.’”

Make no mistake about it. J Street has a right to their poisonous views, and if George Soros wants to use his money to fund an anti-Israel lobby and can get Jews to participate, he has that right.

But let's not mistake J Street for anything but what it is - an anti-Israel, self hating dead end.

Fortunately, a lot of people seem to be getting the message.


UPDATE: Apparently J-Street's campus organization has officially dropped the 'pro-Israel' part of its "pro-Israel, pro-peace" slogan.

"We don't want to isolate people because they don't feel quite so comfortable with 'pro-Israel,' so we say 'pro-peace,'" said American University junior Lauren Barr of the "J Street U" slogan, "but behind that is 'pro-Israel.'"

Barr, secretary of the J Street U student board that decided the slogan's terminology, explained that on campus, "people feel alienated when the conversation revolves around a connection to Israel only, because people feel connected to Palestine, people feel connected to social justice, people feel connected to the Middle East."

She noted that the individual student chapters would be free to add "pro-Israel," "pro-Israel, pro-Palestine," or other wording that they felt would be effective on this issue, since "it's up to the individuals on campus to know their audience."

Indeed...treasonous,cowardly self-hating little scumbags worthy of Dante's lowest circle of Hell. But at least one can give them points for honesty and truth in labeling.

1 comment:

Right Truth said...

This is very interesting. George Soros? pffffft Nothing "pro Israel" about him.

And it did not take long for them to publicly remove the "pro Israel". At least they are half honest.

Deborah F. Hamilton
Right Truth